As an electrician, it's important to make sure you and your customers are on the same page. Creating an accurate, professional estimate can go a long way in building trust. With Skynova's estimating software, you can make estimates for all your electrical jobs and get them to your customers with ease.

After making your customized estimate, Skynova lets you send it to your customer directly from the website. Customers can accept or decline estimates online with the click of a button. The faster they approve your estimates, the faster you can get to work.

You might be making work estimates using pen and paper, or perhaps you're using Microsoft Word Microsoft Excel templates. Skynova makes the process much faster. Skynova's estimate template is a sharp-looking template that you can edit, print, or download as a PDF. Plus, your customer does not have to download anything.

Skynova's template gives your electrical business a quick and efficient way to share estimates with your customers. Not only will your customers see you as easy to work with, but also, they'll appreciate your professionalism. If you're an electrician, check out the template we've made below just for your business:

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Estimate #
Item Description Unit Price Quantity Amount
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Amount Paid
Estimate 0.00

How to Create an Electrical Estimate

As an electrician or general contractor, you likely prefer working out in the field and not doing paperwork at a desk. Keeping track of estimates is the last thing you want to worry about.

Unfortunately, creating electrical estimates and other paperwork is essential to ensuring you get paid the right amount. Skynova can limit the time you spend making estimates. By using our fully editable estimate template, you'll spend more time making money and less time managing it.

The following offers step-by-step instructions for making the electrical estimates for your business. You'll love the time you save not having to create them from scratch, and your customers will love how easy they are to read.

  1. Add Names and Addresses for You and Your Customer

    Every business estimate should prominently feature the names of both the business and the customer. In the "Your Name" field, add the name that your company does business under. It could be your personal name if you own the business. However, if your business goes by another name, you should include that. Either way, make sure your customer will recognize your business name, or they might discard it.

    The "Customer Name" field is for the name of your customer. It might be the name of a single person, but it can also be a business name. For example, if you're hired to install lighting in a chain restaurant, you should use the name of the corporation that owns the restaurant.

    Remember to fill out the "Your Address" and "Customer Address" fields the same way. You'll still use business or personal titles as necessary. Adding your contact email or phone number below your address can help your customers reach you if they have questions.

    If you've been communicating online, you might even use your email address in lieu of a physical address. It's up to you if you want to add a phone number, but it can help you build rapport with your customers.

    Make sure to double-check your work. There's nothing more embarrassing than getting a customer's information wrong. Not only does it look unprofessional, but it can also prevent you from getting in contact with them. Messing up your own information can look just as bad.

  2. Include a Business Logo

    Another way to add the appearance of professionalism to your estimate is to add your company's logo. A business logo shows your customer that they're dealing with a reputable company and will also help them remember you.

    Skynova's estimate template makes it easy to upload any image file you want. Go to the top of the free estimate template page and click on "Show Customization Options." Check the box that says "Logo." Under that, you'll see a box that says "Your Logo Here" in blue on the right. Click browse and choose your company logo.

    Be sure to use a high-quality image for your logo. An image that's not centered or is blurry can hurt your company's appearance.

  3. Add an Estimate Number to Your Template

    It's essential that you keep track of your electrical estimates, and you'll want to make sure each one is easily identifiable. You'll need to know things like which customers have paid, which ones haven't, how much you've charged for service in the past, and which customers you've done the most business with.

    Giving each estimate a unique number will help you find them when you need to. You can give your estimates whatever numbers you'd like, but you should have some sort of numbering system. If you number an estimate "#200," it would make sense for the next one to be "#201."

    Some customers might reply to your estimate with purchase orders (P.O.). A P.O. is a form that shows the amount a customer will pay for specific services or goods. Skynova gives you the option to add a P.O. number to your estimate to keep everything together.

    Click on "Show Customization Options" at the top of the estimate template page. Under that, check the box next to "P.O. #." You'll see a text box appear under the one for "Estimate #" where you can add the P.O. number.

    After you receive a P.O., you'll have to send an invoice back before you can get paid. Whereas the P.O. indicates that you owe the customer electrical work, the invoice indicates that they owe you payment for said work. Skynova lets you automatically convert an estimate to an invoice as soon as a customer accepts it, which is extremely convenient.

  4. Date Your Estimate

    It's a good idea to date every estimate you make. As an electrical professional, you want to make sure your efforts aren't wasted. Knowing when an estimate was written will help you judge how to proceed with a customer.

    If a potential customer hasn't responded to or approved your estimate in a month, you might want to email or call them to see if they're still interested in your services. If they still don't respond, you might conclude that they've decided not to get electrical work done or went with someone else.

    Your schedule has limited space, and you don't want to keep a spot open for business that may not happen. If a family is doing home construction and approaches you to do their wiring in July, it may be tempting to schedule the job on your calendar.

    However, if the family chooses a different electrical contractor without telling you, you've missed out on work you could be doing at that time. Keeping an eye on your estimate dates can help you know when to nudge a customer toward doing business with you or letting them go.

  5. Tally the Cost of Your Electrical Supplies

    Electricians must purchase different materials for different jobs and need to charge for them appropriately. While some jobs involve simple fixes, others require entirely new equipment. You may need to charge for things like wiring, outlets, fixtures, or electrical panels needed to complete a project.

    It's important that you include these items in your cost estimate and communicate any changes to your customer before starting work. If the price of a job changes drastically, it might go beyond a customer's electrical bid, and you may have to get it re-approved.

    For example, a customer could initially ask you to rewire their home through the attic and change their mind later and ask you to do it through their main walls. They might not realize that rewiring through main walls requires construction costs because it involves you breaking the walls open and using materials like drywall to seal them again after the job is finished. Always run any construction estimating by your customer.

    Under "Item," click the downward arrow and choose "Product" to charge for a material. Under "Description," write the name of the material in a language your customer can comprehend. If you order your parts from a supplier, don't use something like "Part #1025." Instead, use an easily recognizable term like "Light fixture."

    Skynova's estimate template gives you the option to customize your unit prices (how much an item costs) and the quantity (how many of an item you purchased). Filling out these two categories will help make it clear to a customer what they're paying for. And when you plug in the numbers, we'll add up the project cost for you.

  6. Tally the Cost of Your Electrical Labor

    Whether you decide to charge an hourly rate for labor costs or a fixed price per project, our proposal template can accommodate you. Both methods have their benefits and drawbacks. If you charge hourly, you'll get the exact payment for the time you put in, but you'll have to meticulously keep track of your hours. If you charge a fixed rate, you don't have to watch the clock, but you may miss out on some payment if a task takes longer than expected to complete.

    You can enter the total number of hours worked under "Items." In the drop-down list, choose "Hours." Write an easy-to-understand description like "Fan installation labor." For "Unit Price," list the price per hour for your labor, and for "Quantity," list how many hours total you worked. The template will tally the total for you.

    If you have a fixed rate, you'll choose "Service" in the "Item" drop-down menu. Identify the price of your service under "Description." The "Unit Price" will be the total cost of the service, and the "Quantity" will be "1." The quantity may be more if you're doing multiple tasks. For example, if you charge a fixed rate to install an electrical switch, and you have to install three of them, the quantity would be "3."

  7. Include Customer Discounts If Applicable

    Everybody loves discounts, and strategically giving them out can help encourage sales. You can offer discounts to loyal customers, new customers, or even customers who refer new business to you. If an impressed customer refers you to do the fluorescent lighting installation for the office building they work in, you might give them a discount to say "thank you."

    Our job estimate template will make sure your customer sees your gesture. Select "Discount" from the "Item" drop-down list and identify the discount as "New customer discount," "Loyalty discount," or something else the customer will understand. Under "Unit Price," enter the amount of the discount. The amount will appear as a negative number, like "-250.00," and will be automatically subtracted from the total.

  8. Use the Note Section to Explain Line Items or Provide Additional Information

    Some items listed on your job estimate form may need more description. For example, if you're tasked with a huge job, like replacing all the wiring for a huge construction project, you might need to enlist some temporary help. It's always wise to let the customer know what every extra charge is for.

    You might also want to personalize your estimate to let a customer know you appreciate their business. A quick thank-you note can go a long way in gaining a regular customer.

    You can do both of these by using the "Notes" section of our estimate. Click in the box and write a message to explain anything you feel needs to be explained or charm your customers.

Tips and Best Practices for Electrical Estimates

Using our electrical contractor estimate template makes getting work simple and fast. There are a few other strategies you can try to ensure your electrical estimate works for you.

We've listed a few tips to assist in effectively charging for electrical work. The following should better your understanding of the process.

  • Be Familiar With Your State's Tax Laws

    Different states have different tax laws for electrical workers. Get to know them so that you can charge the right amount for your services. Failure to pay attention to the details can leave you with a big tax bill at the end of the year.

    Electricians don't have to charge sales tax on labor in most of the United States. However, they should charge tax on things like materials. Also, you should do research on any state's tax laws you plan on doing business in.

  • Always Communicate Changes to Your Customer

    Communication is vital when it comes to getting paid as an electrician. Ensure your customer understands that upfront cost estimating may change, and there is a possibility of further charges.

    For example, you may have to install a light fixture, but upon getting to work, realize that the wiring needs to be replaced before you can do so, adding a significant amount to the price of the job.

    Be sure to communicate these parameters of a project to your customer before moving forward with them and explain them in a way they can understand.

  • Keep Records of Your Communication

    If the price of a project changes, it's likely that a customer will appreciate you letting them know and move forward with their work. However, there may be rare customers who get upset and even refuse to pay for services you've already done.

    Keep a record of all of your correspondence with a customer, from emails to contracts, and store them in a safe place. If someone refuses to pay, you can use your documentation to show them what they've agreed to and, in the worst case, use it in court.

    If you have a difficult time getting paid, Skynova has accounting software that will streamline the process.

Develop Your Electrical Business With Skynova

To be successful, professionals in the electrical field have to possess a wide array of technical skills and knowledge. Sitting down to do electrical estimating and invoicing after a long day working in the field can be brutal.

Skynova gives electrical professionals an easy way to meet their billing and accounting needs. We have printable, customizable invoice templates, contract estimate templates, quote templates, bid templates, and everything else a small business uses to get paid.

Take a look at how we can help get your business's administration running efficiently. Let us worry about the paperwork while you focus on your electrical business.

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